Winston Churchill said it best:
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.
Of course, occasionally looking at the results is not enough, but the sentiment is understood. High performing organizations have real time access to dashboard style reporting at many different levels of the company, the role of Chief Information Officer is increasingly becoming a standard in burgeoning organizations as is a Business Intelligence role that helps translate the vast quantities of data available into usable information by marketing and other departments. Thankfully most companies have moved on from the days of using excel to tally marketing numbers.
But reporting on individual marketing campaigns gets easier and easier; more and more channels offer their own deep insights and third party reporting solutions pick up any slack from less than insightful channels. What is a more opaque measurement and often overlooked is the measurement of a brand.
Of course there’s a reason we don’t hear as much about brand measurement. It’s harder to put your finger on, hard to compare one brand to another, where to begin?
Seth Godin defines a brand as follows:
A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer.
I like a simpler definition which states that a brand is the essence or promise of what will be delivered or experienced. If we take that as being what a brand is, it becomes a little easier to measure how well we’ve performed against that position. Have we delivered what we promised? Have our customers experienced what they thought they would? What do they say about us?
To find the answers to these questions and more and to truly get a sense of how well our brand is operating, we can measure Brand Awareness, Brand Perception and Brand Loyalty. The holy grail of course for marketing teams and brand teams is to tie these analyses back to bottom line results. After all, we don’t market and measure for any other reason to improve overall brand equity by driving sales and growth.
Many different companies have been tracking (and trying to track) overall brand value for years.
Interbrand has their global brand ranking; Equitrend has a brand equity model with elements like familiarity, quality, and purchase consideration to rank brands that create powerful connections with consumers. The stronger the brand, the greater the bond; Net Promoter Score correlates a brand’s score with its bottom line.
Brand and marketing is nothing more than a virtuous circle that begins with a company’s goal, flows on into brand strategy, marketing tactics, measurement, refinement and back to goals. What is it that you need to measure in your company to prove marketing and brand contribution to the goals? Hard ROI numbers are always sought and welcomed by the CEO but to demonstrate the “immeasurable”, consider overall brand metrics to augment your numbers.
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